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ARTS: Culture and community outdoors and free (July 2021)

August 16th, 2021 · No Comments

When a museum is more than a building

The sculpture, “Cracked Wheat,” by Shary Boyle, is included as part of the Gardiner Museum’s audio walking tour of the Linda Frum & Howard Sokolowski Plaza. BRIAN BURCHELL/GLEANER NEWS

By Meribeth Deen

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor can be found within the bounds of five subway stops. It is a collaboration of arts and culture organizations offering: museum experiences, films, concerts, art exhibitions, theatre performances, family events, classes and culture talks, and opportunities to experience some of Toronto’s cultural diversity, including French, Jewish, Italian, Estonian, Japanese and Aboriginal arts and culture.

The Gardiner Museum is one of those collaborators. It’s long-form name is the Gardiner Museum for Ceramic Art, which offers a pretty solid description of the kind of work they show, but as they say, they see museums as more than buildings, but also as communities, that’s why they’re offering free exhibitions, public art projects, family clay activities, outdoor dining, wellness workshops, performances, and more all summer. Better yet, they’re all outside.

One thing you can enjoy at any time is a free audio walking tour of the Linda Frum and Howard Sokolowski Plaza. Take a little extra time to look at a Shari Boyle’s sculpture, Cracked Wheat, a 7 foot high vase standing on two bronze legs, and consider Canadian identity. Learn about the plaza’s vertical garden, and the giant head you’ve probably wondered about if you’ve ever walked passed.

Get your hands gloriously dirty with drop-in clay making workshops for both children and adults every Wednesday to Friday between 1-3:30pm. Make clay birds and contribute to David Constantino Salazar’s project Forever (Bird-Botanicals). In this exhibit, Salazar uses the symbol of the bird to explore themes of hope, freedom, and growth while reflecting on personal tragedy and collective trauma. Kids can also enjoy colouring activities earlier in the day (Wednesday to Friday) inspired by the Gardiner Museum’s collaboration with No. 9 Contemporary Art + Environment. Sundays are family days for outdoor art making at the plaza.

The Gardiner Museum and others continue to offer great online workshops and exhibitions. Be sure to check out their webpages, follow them on social media or just go straight to the hub of all things arts and culture at

Tags: Annex · Arts · Life